Gaming brand Razer has just announced its second gaming chair, the Razer Enki.
After almost a year since introducing their Iskur, the company is expanding the lineup. Chances are, most gamers are already using some kind of Razer product on their desk, from mice, keyboards, headsets and even laptops and monitors, Razer is a brand dedicated to delivering what gamers want to make their experience better.
Razer says their goal in producing the Enki gaming chair, is to empower gamers for all-day gaming. It does this by offering a chair that not only looks great but also functions well and is comfortable for many hours at a time.
I’ve been using the Enki daily for more than a month now and it’s time to detail my thoughts in a full review.
Curves in all the right places
Gaming chairs are really common and to stand out in this space, you need to do something quite dramatic in terms of design. Razer has done exactly that with a gaming chair that looks fantastic, leveraging their brands black/green colour combination.
The seat base and backrest feature a really classy, premium diamond pattern complimented by a center spine that runs the length of the chair. This is flanked by side bolsters that have a smoother finish to assist with durability.
I love that the backrest here is really modern and streamlined, much like modern race seats. Traditionally these styles of chairs have thick backs, but that’s not to facilitate more padding, the backrest here is plenty comfortable and supportive. The thinner design certainly looks far better than more other 2 racing-style chairs, so great work by the engineers to fit everything necessary in such a trim package.
The Razer Enki features dual-foam hardness with the seat base finished in softer foam to ensure comfort on your gravitational contact point, while the back offers a slightly harder foam for better back support.
While other chairs require an additional pillow for lumbar support, the Enki has that build in and the curvature of the backrest is designed to support the spine and help you maintain the correct posture.
Something I love about the chair si the 110 degree arc to the shoulder area, this works really well for my height and shoulder width.
If you’re someone who likes to occasionally cross your feet on the chair, Razer understands accommodates for it with a wide (54cm) base to support it, even if ergonomically this may not be great, it’s your chair, you decide.
Another important attribute to the design is the arm rests. These are referred to as ‘4D’ which translates to them being able to adjust up/down, in/out, forward/backwards and angle in/out. I found these were really accommodating to different sized users and had plenty of increments on their positioning so you can find exactly the right place.
While Razer understands you may have hours in your day where you need to be productive, once that’s over it’s time for fun and to enable more relaxation while watching a movie, or playing a handheld, the chair reclines.. a lot. The Razer Enki offers as much as 152 degrees of seat tilt and recline.
Included with the chair is a memory foam head cushion. This is crazy soft, like a pillow and makes it much easier to pull longer areas when you’re head and neck are supported. The pillow attaches to the top of the chair using elastic straps. Being taller, I did find that this positioned the pillow under my shoulders and when I slipped it higher (without the lower straps attached), it did have a tendency to slip off. If you’re 6 foot or shorter, this is unlikely to be a problem.
This combination really comes together to form a great looking chair.
Stand out features of this chair.
Office chairs don’t really have a long list of features outside their design, so we’ll cover the specs available here.
The recommended weight is anyone under 136kg (300 pounds) which is quite generous and surpasses many of its competitors, which goes to the engineering and robustness of the design.
While the official recommended height is for gamers between 166 and 204cm (5’5 to 6’8), I can tell you at 6’2, the headrest isn’t viable. Of course, you can still use the chair without it, so technically this is correct. What I did find as a taller person is the length of the base left around 5 cm gap between the edge of the chair and the back of my knees, which meant that weight was unsupported. Not the end of the world, but the horizontal position of the base is not adjustable.
The 5 casters are 60mm in size and even on the carpet have a low rolling resistance, making it easy to move when needed.
Razer is providing a 3-year warranty with the Enki, which speaks to their confidence in the robustness of their materials and the strength of the steel frame.
Not everything’s perfect
While not commonly found in racing chairs, I really would have liked more adjustability. When designing a chair, you have to make decisions about the scale of the chair you’re making, given the vast array of heights and weights of your potential customer base.
I feel I’m on the upper end of the average user they designed this chair for. As mitigation for this, I would have loved to see the ability for the base to slide forward and back, independently of the backrest. This would enable the base to support more of my legs, providing better distribution of weight.
While there’s a mega adjustment range for the backrest of the chair, I would have loved to see the ability to adjust the angle down the front of the seat base, so there wasn’t as much upward pressure on the underside of my legs, despite having my feet flat on the floor.
Finally, the cushion is a great inclusion, incredibly soft, but the attachment points don’t work if you are taller like me. The slots in the backrest give the chair the appearance of a racing seat from a car and those slots are where your 5-point racing harness would feed through. These slots are used to attach the seat cushion, but given my shoulders are above these holes, the lower cushion anchors pull the cushion down. When I unclip those and just use the around-the-top elastic band, the head cushion can sit on top of my shoulders but is forced upwards, making them slip up and over the top of the chair.
Almost all of these would not be issues for a shorter person, say under 6 foot.
PRICE & AVAILABILITY
How much and when can you get one ?
If you want to get your butt on a Razer Enki, you’ll have two options to choose from, the Enki and Enki X.
- Enki – A$674.95
- Enki X -A$474.95
Having two tiers of pricing should allow many people to consider the Enki as their next gaming / office chair. It’s certainly not the cheapest on the market, but I’m guessing you didn’t opt for the cheapest case, or motherboard, or GPU for that matter.
The Enki has a design that I think is well worth paying for and the adjustability and comfort are great, helping to justify the price tag.
More information at razer.com/gaming-chairs/razer-enki/
Razer’s tag line is ‘For gamers, by gamers’ and with the Razer Enki Gaming Chair, it really feels like they lived this in the design and execution of the chair. The attributes are really well thought through to accommodate most general gaming use.
For what we expect from a racing-style chair, the Enki excels, but does lack the next-level adjustability of an ergonomics-focused chair. Clearly chairs like this, and something like the Herman Miller Aeron are worlds apart in adjustability, but so are their price points (you could have 2 of these for the price of an Aeron).
If you’re a semi-serious gamer and are looking for a solid, affordable gaming chair that looks great, then the Enki is for you. If you’re expecting an ergonomic masterpiece, then you’ll need to reset your expectations.
For their second-ever chair, Razer get lots of things right with the Enki, especially the design. I really love how this chair looks in photos of my home office and if you’re someone who live streams on Twitch or YouTube, then the design is likely to be a very important attribute.
Given Razer is well known for their RGB lighting in gaming products, it was a little surprising to see that missing from the Enki, but I think it’s a safe assumption that we’ll see that at some stage in the not too distant future.